Norwegian Navy


Interesting subject, which I have been interested in for many years. In my early days sailing in these waters, the entire area around the Spratleys, and most of the South China Sea outside the normal shipping lanes, were marked as “Uncharted”.

The Spratleys and other islands and atolls in the South China Sea has been disputed for a long time. Here is the time line:

The Chinese “nine-dash line” claim has been discredited in the ICJ in Den Haag, but any settlement of the various claims are not on the card in the foreseeable future.

Here is Reuters’ short version of the background for the dispute:…-five-minutes/

​China keeps on reminding everybody that they were not the first to create islands out of submerged coral reef, which reminded me of a story I heard while working for Datuk Harris in Labuan back in the early 1990s:
One of my colleagues there had been the Commander of the Navy Station at Labuan in the early 1980s and was responsible for patrolling the waters of the South China Sea claimed by Malaysia.

To strengthen the claim he was order to survey the reefs to see if it was possible to find any dry land within their EEZ that could be claimed as an island. He went out there with a survey team to chart the nearest reef, known as Swallow Reef.
He claimed that they found a small coral head that was actually above water at Highest High Tide, which is the definition of an “island” under UNCLOS. They placed a plaque on it to claim it for Malaysia.

He then went back to Labuan and arranged for dredging equipment to be secretively brought out to start creating the first small piece of land, enough to establish a “naval base” there, consisting of a few tents and some anti-aircraft guns, before Malaysia declared the existence of an island called Layang-Layang, around which they claimed 12 n.miles territorial waters and 200 n.miles EEZ.

The size of the island was increased to where it today has an airstrip and a Dive Resort:

The Navy still maintain a station on the island, with a couple of CB-90 Fighting boats and still some anti-aircraft guns, or at least they did until a few years ago.

What may be less well known is the history of claims by various nations over the centuries, incl. some enterprising individuals who declared their own Republics on the few islands that is natural.
Here is the Wikipedia page about one of the Republics:

The family has not entirely given up on their claim, but they don’t stand much of a change against the big boys now claiming sovereignty over all or part of the area.

Unfortunately there are some inaccuracy in the Wiki report, so here is a more detailed article about this and other claims made over the last 150 years or so:

As always, the truth is somewhat between the “facts” presented by the various parties who have interest here.


Putin is going in a different direction from his “friend”, Donald Trump. Opening borders rather than building walls:


I don’t think they care about the islands as much as the 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of nat gas underneath them.


Please tell me that was snark/sarcasm… because unless you’re the governor of Ebaye (Marshall Islands), expansionism these days isn’t going to be about land so much, but some natural resource the other guy has.


Not really. It might come off that way to you because you are more informed on the situation, but amazingly enough most people are unaware of the resources beneath the S. China Sea and what China’s true motive is in that region and, of course, the media neglects to mention it. Just throwing it out there as a PSA to the public at large that might have missed it.

I guess it’s easier to get people to sympathize with someone like the Governor of Marshall Islands than inform them we want to mess with the most populous country on the planet over oil.


The existence of oil and gas has certainly been speculated about enough, even in the general media, but drilling has been limited to the shallower parts near Taiwan, Hainan, Vietnam and the Reed Bank off Palawan.
Not sure how much seismic have been done by the various interested parties, but until you drill nobody REALLY know what may be hiding in the deep.

Even the fishing has been largely limited to the shallow waters in and around the lagoons and submerged reefs.

I got interested in the area because I got involved with some Norwegian speculators that bought a Russian longliner, but could not find any legal opportunities for it in the Southern Ocean.
The illegal options were too risky due to the French threatening to strip and sink any vessel caught fishing in the EEZ around their islands.

With a capability to fish in water depth to >3000 m. the possibility to find valuable species of fish in the deep and cold water in the South China Sea sounded attractive. Especially since we could register under Malaysian International Shipsregister (Labuan FT) and obtain license to operate from there.

Before we could get started the boat got sold to a company in New Zealand who had the necessary permit to fish for Toothfish in the CAMLAR Zone, so my theory that there were opportunities for longlining in deepwater SCS never got tested.

PS> This was back 20 or so years ago, before the dispute had got hot and in the news.


Numbers come from the IEA, so your right, how much is there is still speculation, but China’s play here is about the oil. I was reading 10 or 15 years ago that the spratly islands would one day be a point of contention between China and the United States, I guess they were right.


I guess you are right, they where right.
It is already a point of contention. Let’s hope that cool heads on both sides can keep it at this level.

Or even better, solve the dispute amicably through diplomatic channels, with the stake holders being involved through the ASEAN. To ram through a solution agreed between US and China only is not going to hack it, nor will provocations and threats.


The military industrial complex that Eisenhower so presciently warned us of now holds sway, and our infrastructure is starting to look like we are a third world country. What is the point of having a Navy if we don’t have a Merchant Marine to defend. What can you say about military policy of a country with the largest most powerful Navy in the world to allow a few rag-tag brigands to capture its ships at will i.e. the Maersk Alabama. We are republic, we can’t afford to be an empire.


Away from the depressing war talk for a while.
A Norwegian and Sunnmoring won 400 m. steeple chase at the World Championship in London yesterday. The picture of him after crossing the goal line and realizing that he had won has attracted as much attention as the fact that he beat the unbeatable Keron Clement is priceless:
It didn’t take long before somebody drew the attention to the likeness with Munch’s The Scream.


Found this blog by a French women living in Norway and writing about all things Norwegian, incl. the peculiarities of the Norwegian psyche.

This blog entry is old, but I though some here may find it entertaining, not least to feed their anti-Norwegian points of view:

Here is another foreigner blogging about life in Norway. This one from Australia and living the north of Norway, where the sun has just set for the first time in three months:

There are several American Expats blogging from and about Norway and Norwegians as well:


Accident or new Viking invasion?

Delivery to Algeria just a cover story for Norwegian Navy plot? Not sure how effective a plastic pipe bomb would be though. Since the pipe is no longer cargo are they now in violation of MARPOL Annex V?


Vestdavit is responding to their success in USA by opening an office in Seattle:


The General Election in Norway is not half the circus of an American election, although there are many more parties vying for seat in the Storting (Parliament), stretching from the far right wing Progressive Party (FRP) to the Red Party on the far left.
The position of Prim Minister is decided by the resulting coalition of parties with a majority of seats.

The whole process takes a few weeks of campaigning, (not four years as in the US) and without negative adds, personal insults or libel suites being use by any sides.

The result did not bring any major changes, or surprises, with the present coalition of right wing parties retaining power, but with a smaller majority. The small maveric parties in the centre gained more votes, which MAY cause some minor changes, hopefully including in the VERY restrictive and unfair way asylum seekers and non-European migrants are being treated.

The major shifts appeared to have been in the northern part of Norway, where the Social Democrats and left wing parties have been strongest:


Geezus your elections are even boring…


Yes isn’t it more fun when politicians talk sh*t abut each other instead of about what they stand for?
(Assuming of course that they stand for anything other than what the latest opinion poll tells them they are supposed to say to win votes)


Meh, we know the US politicians are full of shit, regardless of their party. Mostly you just have to hope you picked one that will lean in favor of what you want and pretend you’re watching Jerry Springer during their campaigns.

It’s like Dr. House said, “Everybody lies…”


Norway is looking at other resources on and below the seabed withing the EEZ, which is six times the area of the Norwegian landmass:


Just came across this picture of a Research Vessel seen in Singapore a few years ago and thought it would fit with this thread:

PS> If you want to know more about this vessel scan the image.


The Norwegian Navy vessel KNM Helge Ingstad is visiting Svalbard to show the flag:

PS> No bar codes anywhere to be seen.